Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend, 19 May 1945, Chiswick, London, England, the son of singer Betty Dennis and respected saxophonist Cliff Townshend. Having served his apprenticeship playing banjo in a dixieland jazz band, Pete joined the Detours as rhythm guitarist. This local attraction, which also featured Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle, was a vital stepping-stone to the formation of the Who. Townshend emerged as leader of this turbulent unit by virtue of his compositional skills. Several early songs, notably I Cant Explain, The Kids Are Alright and My Generation, encapsulated the trials of adolescence while a virulent guitar-style which eschewed formal style in favour of an aggressive, combative approach, underlined a lyrical anger and frustration. Townshend later expanded his art to embrace character studies (Happy Jack and Dogs), but his songs did not translate well in other hands and singles...
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